Technology

Roanoke County leaders talk about expertise college websites, agree on significance | Schooling

Roanoke County’s two governing our bodies are hopeful {that a} concrete plan for a brand new profession and expertise schooling heart will likely be formalized by the top of the 12 months.

The board of supervisors and the college board held a joint work session Tuesday to debate potential websites for the brand new facility that may ultimately substitute the Burton Heart for Arts and Know-how, the county college system’s present facility for CTE studying.

Tuesday’s assembly included a closed session to debate potential websites for the brand new studying heart, one thing that would hamper the county’s negotiating potential if the issues have been mentioned throughout the open a part of the assembly, county officers mentioned.

A ten-person committee appointed by the boards in August was additionally in attendance, with the group’s chair, Mike Altizer, outlining the standards it used when rating the potential website for CTE college that options nicely over a dozen trades or packages in its curriculum, like cosmetology, sport design and nursing.

Individuals are additionally studying…

Altizer mentioned the chief standards when on the lookout for land to construct the brand new college is value, however different elements being thought-about embrace accessibility to highways, distance from all 5 county excessive colleges, no less than a 20-acre lot and a location throughout the county.

A number of college board members and supervisors agree that the college is a large want for the county, in additional methods than one.

“I believe I communicate for your complete board that we notice we have to higher our CTE schooling in Roanoke County,” Vinton District Supervisor Jason Peters mentioned Tuesday afternoon earlier than the assembly. “What we try to get down the street is what this in the end appears like. We all know what an financial driver this will likely be for us.”

Peters mentioned that the venture remains to be in its infancy phases, and he hoped a website can be chosen because of the closed session, however famous that even when it was, the announcement would probably be months away because the county must do its “due diligence” on the chosen place earlier than finalizing any deal.

County officers additionally famous the extreme issues with the present constructing, together with its measurement and the truth that it’s situated in a floodplain, the latter being one of many essential causes renovation of the constructing that opened in 1962 isn’t a viable choice.

Greater than 300 college students are turned away from numerous packages on the college every year due largely to area restrictions, in keeping with county officers. The present facility situated on Roanoke Boulevard in Salem is roughly 85,000 sq. ft.

Peters and Tim Greenway, Vinton’s college board consultant, mentioned they hoped the complete plan for the college can be accomplished by the top of the 12 months and prepared for building starting in 2023.

Supervisor Paul Mahoney of the Cave Spring District mentioned there are many issues the county is engaged on proper now, however the brand new CTE heart is chief amongst them.

“Profession and technical schooling I believe is our [the supervisors] primary precedence,” he mentioned. “We’ve obtained to maneuver this course of ahead,” he mentioned, noting that the BCTA has been insufficient for upwards of 25 years. “You possibly can disagree with measurement and scope and placement, however on the finish of the day, profession and technical schooling is essential for the way forward for this area, not simply Roanoke County.”

The board of supervisors additionally held a separate common assembly Tuesday afternoon throughout which it elected its new chair for the 12 months, Mahoney, and its vice chair, Peters.

The supervisors mentioned it has been their apply over the previous couple of years to have a member take the the highest seat for a 12 months earlier than permitting another person to tackle the position of heading the conferences, amongst different duties.

“We additionally thought it was sensible to have the previous chair because the vice chair, so there’s somebody that already has expertise within the position to assist information the brand new chair, Mahoney mentioned.

Moreover, the supervisors gave the college system again its carryover funds, greater than $52 million, from the earlier fiscal 12 months.

County Administrator Dan O’Donnell mentioned historically the college system has saved the cash, however the county’s lawyer realized the supervisors needed to undergo the formal means of taking again the funds earlier than reallocating them again to the college system.

The funds will likely be used for quite a few objects, in keeping with college system paperwork, chief amongst them are the medical health insurance fund, the 2022 bond fund, and the system’s capital tasks fund.

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